Summary: God can use an ordinary rod in Moses hands. What resources are in my hand? What will God use in my life to enable me to find the victory I need in the circumstances I face? Am I willing to support my leaders?
Exodus 17 - What’s that in your hand? Use that!
1. AM I WILLING TO BE TESTED IN YOUR FAITH?
"Am I willing to trust in God when I face problems and crisis points in my life? Am I willing to go to Him in prayer for the answers I need on a daily basis?"
In Exodus 17 God leads His people to a place called Rephidim, and once again they are faced with a water problem. There was no water to drink. The people complain once more as they did at Marah. God in His grace enables water to be extracted miraculously from a rock.
God doesn’t lead you to a place to annihilate you. Moses knew that, and strikes the rock at Horeb with his rod and water comes forth miraculously.
Moses names the place Massah and Meribah which means "Test" and "Contention". That’s fairly pointed! It was a continual reminder for Israel that God tested their faith and despite their bad response, God still came through for them. Let me ask you again - "Are you willing to trust in God when you face problems and crisis points in your life? Are you willing to go to Him in prayer for the answers you need on a daily basis?". This is a beautiful picture of Christ as our Rock who was struck for us that we might receive the living water of the Holy Spirit.
2. AM I WILLING TO SUPPORT GODLY LEADERSHIP?
Then this untrained army of Israel experiences war for the first time against an enemy called Amalek. In the conflict Israel would begin to have an advantage if Moses hand was held up and they would begin to lose if it was not held up. So Aaron and Hur held up Moses hands all day as the battle ensued, and Israel prevailed. God promised Joshua that the memory of Amalek would be completely blotted out from under heaven.
3. AM I WILLING TO TAKE CRITICISM WITHOUT FALLING APART?
Moses builds an altar and gives it a name - "The Lord is my Banner".
When the people of Israel are blaming Moses for having no water and they are just about to stone Moses to death, God says something interesting to Moses. He says in effect "Get out there and provide them with a good target...and take all your leaders with you".
How would you feel? A little vulnerable? When people are against you it doesn’t make you feel all that excited about life and ministry. Moses has the boldness of a man who is sure of His calling.
God never tells us to back away from things He has called us to do because people might complain and quarrel with you. Moses life was besieged by continual criticism from a complaining people, but his life was also characterized by continual prayer. What an incredible example to his people. They sought His life. Moses sought the Lord.
4. AM I WILLING TO USE WHAT GOD HAS PLACED IN MY HAND?
Trusting God for everyday needs is one lesson. Trusting God for a battle against the enemy is another. Israel had to learn about both. Moses rod wasn’t some kind of magic wand. God had used it as a symbol of His presence and power before Pharaoh, and again at the Red Sea, and at Horeb. It represents God’s miraculous power to intervene into our circumstances. As Moses held up the rod, Israel was encouraged to depend upon God for victory.